We Revisit Painful Truth #8 as ASQA Cancels Qualifications


 

In January, Fortress Learning published an article called The Ten Painful Truths About The Cert IV TAE.

Recently, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) announced that it will cancel 432 Security and First Aid Qualifications and Statements of Attainment issued to 276 individuals.

This rings true to Painful Truth #8. Just because you get it, doesn’t always mean you get to keep it.

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The Cert IV TAE: You get out what you put in


Every now and then, a Cert IV TAE student writes a Review that we believe deserves to be featured and discussed. Instead of them ending up hidden among the others, we will share them with you, and let you know our thoughts about them.

This is what Michael said: 

The driest, most boring course I have ever had the misfortune of having to complete.

Why did this particular testimonial catch our attention? 

Michael does have a point when he says the Cert IV TAE is “dry” and “boring”. We sympathise – the Cert IV TAE can be tough going.

As mentioned in The Ten Painful Truths about the Cert IV TAE, “For many people, it is something that they would rather have done than something that they want to do. For many people, it is something that they have to do to satisfy someone else’s requirements rather than something that they want to do to satisfy their own requirements.”

While yes, it is not a course that is commonly described as “a bunch of fun”, it is what it is. Simply put: if you want to be a Trainer and Assessor, the Cert IV in Training and Assessment is something that you have to do.

Once you have accepted that, whether you like it or not, the next question to ask yourself is why are you doing it?

In study and in life, your ‘why’ is your motivating force. Your ‘why’ will shape the thoughts and feelings that you bring to your Cert IV TAE experience. Approaching your study with, “I hate this,” will inevitably mean that yes, you will hate it and you will continue to hate it…  unless you can change your approach.

If you are required to complete the Cert IV TAE for work and compliance purposes, it may be all too tempting to feel resentment, to simply “tick the boxes” and drag your feet all the way through the qualification.

If this is your ‘why’, you may be selling yourself short.

If your ‘why’ is to better yourself, to embrace the opportunity of learning new skills, gaining up-to-date knowledge and the genuine want to hone your performance, the qualification will look and feel completely different.

It’s all about getting the most out of the course, and you only get out what you put in.

 

If you would like to know more about what it means to be a student with us, how about you read Dear Future Student, check out Our Courses, or give us a call on 1300 141 994 and we can explore what that would look like.

Get to know your Trainer: Who are they? (Pt 1)


 

Online learning can be flexible, rewarding, affordable, efficient – it can be pretty great!

But, it also can be a lonely path filled with anxiety and uncertainty.

Here at Fortress, we like to make that path as warm and welcoming as possible.

Our TAE Trainers, Bryan and Emma, are very lovely and very willing to answer your questions. Get to know these wonderful humans – your Trainers – by reading our interview below.

This is Part 1 of a 3 part series: Get to know your Trainer.

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Overcoming Learner Discomfort


 

What is learner discomfort?

“When a learner becomes conscious of their own performance – or lack of – that then can lead to them becoming anxious, which is an uncomfortable place to be.

So by “learner discomfort”, I guess I am talking about feelings of anxiety, worry or concern. A lack of confidence in the learner’s ability to participate in any meaningful way; to progress in any meaningful way.” – Dr Bryan West, Fortress Learning Diploma Trainer.

Now that we know what it is, how do we overcome it? 

The four episodes below are from Fortress Learning’s series on teaching microskills called The Small Stuff.

In each episode, Bryan offers some strategies that you can implement in the classroom to make learning a much more comfortable, and therefore more productive, experience.

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3 Pillars of Quality in action.. again!


Every now and then, a student writes a Review that we believe deserves to be featured and discussed. Instead of them ending up hidden among the others, we will share them with you, and let you know our thoughts about them.

This is what Carol said: 

I researched who was offering on-line courses, and Fortress Learning kept coming up, the comments from previous students were consistent.

I made contact, and they were not pushy, or imposing, which I sometimes the case when trying to gain customers.

Contact has been streamlined and straight-forward, and very prompt.

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RTOs Join Forces To Discuss Compliance


Emma presenting at the Inaugural RTO Managers' Meeting

Fortress Learning’s Compliance Manager, Emma Siebuhr, sharing Fortress Learning’s experience of the new TAE application process at the Inaugural RTO Managers’ Meeting.

 

The Inaugural RTO Managers’ Meeting was held in Brisbane on the 14th of February 2018. The meeting served as an opportunity for RTO Managers to come together and share their experiences with the new TAE application process and compliance in general.

Among those who attended were Fortress Learning’s Owner and Managing Director, Dr Bryan West; Fortress Learning’s Compliance Manager, Emma Siebuhr; and SAVE Training‘s Owner, Paul Pellier.

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Don’t Hesitate To Reach Out: Tracey’s Experience


Here is what Tracey said:

After initial confusion of which dashboard I should be working through for my Dual Dips and getting my head around the process required, I found access to be easy.

Staff supportive and feedback useful. Assistance with extension was seamless.

The couple of not so positive points were that not realizing the extent of support and input needed from my colleagues was much more than expected (thinking it would be along similar lines as previous TAFE courses completed).

My other point would be that although this is an online course, I would have preferred the option to be able to print the course notebooks as well as view them on screens.

Why did this particular testimonial catch our attention?

Tracey made 4 points in her testimonial that we would like to expand on:

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Fun games to boost learner engagement


Learner engagement: sounds easy enough, but in reality, sometimes engaging a class can prove to be an uphill battle.

Whether you have just started your lesson, just resumed class after a break, or if things are starting to get out of control, you need to have some strategies in place to get things back on track.

One way to do this could be to play a fun game.

While I call them games, Bryan doesn’t like them to be called games as they are “serious”. He prefers to use the term higher level engagement strategies.

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Completing Your Qualification with Fortress: Robyn’s Experience


Every now and then, a graduating student writes a Review that we believe really captures what we try to do.  Instead of them ending up hidden among the others, we will share them with you, and try to explain why we think they are so appropriate.

Here is what Robyn said:

“In this day and age it is important to keep current in your competency (whatever that may be). More importantly it is vital to be able to prove that your competency is current.

With that desire, I enrolled with Fortress Learning to update my 2010 Diploma and complete the additional Units to achieve a double Diploma in Training (TAE50216 Design and Development and TAE50116 Vocational Education and Training).

On review of the Course Work and the associated requirements to complete, with a hectic work and personal life, I really did wonder how I was going to complete it all within the required timeframe. However, have you heard the expression ‘how do you eat an elephant’?

The answer is: one mouthful at a time. So following that analogy, I started the Course Work and uploaded each assignment as I completed them.

On each upload, Fortress acknowledged receipt of my work and provided encouraging feedback which helped spur me on to completion.

When I had issues, concerns or questions, Fortress were quick to respond and help me through.

I enjoyed the relationship with Fortress, the newfound learnings I acquired through researching and completing assignments. Learnings that I can apply at work and most of all I am very happy that I made the decision to update my qualification(s) with Fortress.” 

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Accountability: It’s a two way street


 

What does it mean to be accountable?

Here is the definition for “accountability” in the Business dictionary: “The obligation of an individual or organisation to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.”

Here at Fortress, we pride ourselves on being accountable. However, the thing about accountability is it takes two (Rod Stewart and Tina Turner say it best).

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Studying a Cert IV TAE with Fortress Learning: User-Friendly


Every now and then, a Cert IV TAE student writes a Review that we believe deserves to be featured and discussed. Instead of them ending up hidden among the others, we will share them with you, and let you know our thoughts about them.

This is what Denise said:

“I found this RTO extremely user-friendly, my trainer Emma was fantastic and was always extremely kind and helpful throughout the course. She encouraged me and motivated me to pursue my studies in a very difficult time and made me feel on top of the world once I achieved the tasks at hand. Hands down the best RTO I have dealt with. Thank you Fortress Learning I look forward to my future studies with your organisation.”

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Highly motivated and extremely organised: is online learning right for you?


 

Every now and then, a graduating student writes a Review that we believe really captures what we try to do.  Instead of them ending up hidden among the others, we will share them with you, and try to explain why we think they are so appropriate.

Here is what Trudy said: 

“Firstly be aware this course is very demanding particularly in the volume of assessments/workload. To undertake it online you need to be highly motivated & extremely organised. If you can do this I highly recommend Fortress Learning…  Emma is everything you can hope for & more. She’s not on call 24/7 but that is not an impediment to success… I’ve done post graduate university study & found the TAE more difficult but however to use a cliche with Fortress you can do it.”

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Your ‘why’: to comply or to perform?


Every now and then, a Triple Business Diploma student writes a Review that we believe deserves to be featured and discussed. Instead of them ending up hidden among the others, we will share them with you, and let you know our thoughts about them.

This is what Raj said:

When I started this program almost a year ago, my aim was to quickly go through a program to maintain industry currency and compliance in an industry sector that is becoming more and more complicated with stricter governance standards.

However, as I started working through the materials, I was pleasantly surprised at the level of support, and professionalism from you and your team.  That level of professionalism forced me to stop and reconsider my motives, and apply what I already knew, more professionally, and as would be expected from a professional in the L&D sector.

I want to thank you and your team for all your support and efficiency in making this possible.  As you know, in this year I have also embarked on a new business venture and having someone from your office monitoring my progress and keeping me on track has been a huge plus.

I would recommend your RTO – and I do – to anyone looking to further their studies.

All the best to you and your team.

Best Regards

Raj Nathoo, Fortress Learning Triple Diploma of Business, Business Administration and Leadership and Management Graduate.

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Thinking of enrolling in an online course with Fortress Learning? Here is some advice from recent graduates


In the name of research (and because we were curious) Fortress Learning reached out to our recent graduates to ask them a series of three questions:

What questions do you wish you had asked before starting your course?
What do you wish you had known during your course?
What advice would you give someone who is about to start their course?

It was truly humbling the amount of detailed, in-depth responses we received. We felt it was only fair to share this constructive and well-thought-out feedback with those who could use it the most: our students.

To any new or existing Fortress Learning students, here are some helpful tips, thoughts and opinions from those who have gone before you:

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Studying a Cert IV TAE: Knowing Me, Knowing You


Every now and then, a Cert IV TAE student writes a Review that we believe deserves to be featured and discussed. Instead of them ending up hidden among the others, we will share them with you, and let you know our thoughts about them.

This is what Lou said:

“The written course materials met requirements however if anyone is doing a course in their ‘spare time’ be prepared for no real time access to trainers for assistance or help with these materials or the course in general.

You will end up training yourself which means you will have to have incredible drive and resilience to finish – which comes more as a relief than a feeling of achievement when it comes.

I wouldn’t recommend the course for people unless they have time to study and interact with the trainers during the day or support (and study time) from their workplace. It is a soul destroying and lonely experience otherwise.”

Read more…